Last year, hockey fans were treated to one of the best Stanley Cup Finals in recent years. Every game was close and several required overtime to decide a winner. The Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins battled tooth and nail for the ultimate prize — Lord Stanley’s Cup.
This year, the NHL has a pair of teams at the top of their respective conferences that battled each other on Friday night. The Pittsburgh Penguins traveled to southern California to take on the Anaheim Ducks in a battle of the league’s best.
Let me be the first say, if this is a possible NHL Finals preview, sign me up. This was a fantastic game to watch, as both teams battled for bragging rights. The game needed a shootout to decide the winner.
No matter who won the game, it was a great game to watch. Unless you’re a fan of one of these teams and have a distinct rooting interest, you had to enjoy watching both teams battle as they did. Marc-Andre Fleury and Jonas Hiller were spectacular, even in the shootout, as it took six shooters from each side before the game was ultimately decided.
This is the type of matchup that could spark interest in the Finals for a sport that is still struggling from the 2005 season that was shutdown. The sport has been growing in popularity, but considering most of their national games are on a network that a lot of people don’t get, they’re still sitting fourth on the list of importance in major sports in the United States.
A matchup that puts Sydney Crosby against anyone will peak interest, but if you can put him up against Ryan Getlzaf and the Ducks, the interest will peak even more. Even if the rest of the country doesn’t care, I for one am in favor of this matchup for the NHL Stanley Cup.